Top marketing trends for 2018

Marketing can be a daunting and overwhelming topic for business owners, yet it is the one thing that helps a business grow in an increasingly competitive market. There are a few new marketing trends to look out for in 2018. Now is the time to consider upcoming marketing trends to sort your strategy on a long-term basis, and stay ahead of your competition in the new year.

The future of successful promotion lies in authentic, personalised, customized and original marketing that enables audiences to be meaningfully engaged, whether the business is online or offline. Businesses really need to challenge themselves to think about how to meaningfully engage with their customers, that’s more significant than just using a trending hashtag or the latest emoji.

There are three key marketing trends every brand needs to know about for 2018:

1. Humanising your marketing: “Make friends, not customers” is one of Basic Bananas’ company values. One of the many demands to come out of this rise of a competitive, technology driven age, is the customer’s involvement in the creative process and customization is another way to enhance the customer experience. Implementing a strategy to connect and create trust with your audience as fellow humans involving conversation and feedback, rather than viewing them like ‘customers’ using automation tools can be extremely rewarding. Humanising your marketing also includes two-way communication on social media and building a tribe within your customer base. It’s important to hear and understand your customers, and to model your approach based on connection and interaction. Customers don’t want to feel like ‘just a number’.

2. AI and bots: Marketing in 2018 will become even more about the customer experience before they spend a cent. Your marketing should be interacting with your prospects both through real people and the use of AI. Marketing is so competitive it must now engage and interact, not just broadcast. Leveraging AI and bots to tailor your marketing for each customer can be extremely helpful. In order to do so it is important to understand what content best engages your audience and serve people content they want to see. Using AI can make operations more efficient, track trends, find opportunities and save time. It also allows you to sort through big data by creating efficiencies that fine tune brand voice from controlled communication channels to reputation management efforts. Business which leverage both real people and AI will have a real advantage in growing their customer base in 2018.

3. Become your own media outlet: Social media and databases are your media platforms to grow and build a following. As much as leveraging what is already out there, the most thriving businesses are the ones that build their own platform for people to keep coming back to for relevant information. Own your audience and reward them with content they want to see.

Franziska Iseli, entrepreneur and co-founder, Basic Bananas 

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